In Dance on April 28, 2016 at 11:55 pm

I finally took my first Ballet class. It was something I had in mind for a while, I was less bothered about doing ballet than completing the set of classical dances! I’ve been long aware of the benefits, like the discipline, the posture, the lines and I would have imagined a heavy does of stretching. A fair number of people suggested I should give it a try, figured as I turned 35 just under a week ago, let’s do it!

So, I arrived and surprised Ailsa, I was positioned next to a Katie who recognised me (I do spend too much time in the studios!) and to a lady who was also in her first lesson… it turned out she was Ailsa’s mum! Oh! She was lovely though.

We spent the majority of time on the barre, I liked it a lot because we covered a range of stretching that did me good. We worked on our arms too, perfect as I need them for Flamenco. We did plenty of turns which will help in tap. There wasn’t a routine like all the other lessons, it’s less important than proper techniques – that’s completely fine because I can get my routines from elsewhere, I can work on my lines here.

The hour went by quick, and I felt much better prepared for Contemporary as I already had an hour warm-up. I loved ballet a lot more than I thought, definitely going back – this will pelt my hours of dancing to 6 a week… quite excessive!

Rehearsal went well, it’s that time again – before we know it, boom!

Anyway, yeh my dance journey just took another step.

Flamenco update

In Dance on April 6, 2016 at 10:56 pm

It’s been a while, I finally got rid of my blogging about dancing habit! I don’t miss it either because it used to take so much of my time. It’s nice to dip in here now and then.

Yes, Flamenco, I had about… maybe seven lessons, and it’s plodding along ok. I ordered my special Flamenco shoes from Spain for under £65, which is actually amazing value for money because most of them are going for over £100 – there are no affordable Beginners entry shoes. They are HARD to find. This Spanish shop sold them for 51 Euros, maybe £41ish and I paid the delivery charge which was almost half the cost of the shoes! They look the part and Gloria (the teacher) double-checked it for me, she thought it was incredible value. The shop was pretty good communicating with me, the parcel arrived a couple of weeks ago (within a week of order), I was really happy!

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I was a little taken aback by the 3.5cm heels, not had anything like this before! It’s daunting and I had to wait until tonight to test them in class. It’s quite a height (for me!), I wobbled a little especially on balance and because it sloped forward – I straightened my knees… unknowingly. My body naturally adjusted by locking my knees. I had to be told twice to bend them, I look forward to wearing them in!

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It felt so weird when I took them off and wore my trainers again, it was a foreign sensation even though I was only going back to my normal shoes. Heels definitely made my body feel different, maybe it’s just the height!

The inside of my feet ached a little, either from the heels OR from kicking the ground, it’s the area just before my big toes. It’s alright now, I will need time to get used to them!

They were reasonably difficult to put on, however, it was a PAIN to get them off! I couldn’t slip them off at first, they were immovable – just what you’d expect from shoes without laces. It was like wedging my foot in a duck’s arse, removing them took a lot of elbow grease, they were so so tight!

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Anyway, how are the lessons going?

Not so well at the moment, I’m struggling against fatigue and lacking concentration in a fast paced class. I’m struggling against the count, the steps, the arms, the wrists, the shoulders, the positioning. I did something deliberate earlier – I stopped looking at Gloria and instead, looked in the mirror at myself. My head wasn’t turned, so my posture improved and so were my steps. The arms and legs combo will take getting used to, I reckon we’re all in the deep end. If I was to separate the components, we’re looking at steps, posture, arms, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, hips, ball and heels, the rhythm count, the speed, the length of combo… there’s TONS to digest for a tired mind.

I’m also struggling to understand her accent at times, it all adds up to a very challenging hour. It may seem repetitive but I’m sure it will lead somewhere! I’m also wearing heels now! The other guy J recorded a video of Gloria’s steps, I need to homework seriously! I feel like it’s real now because of the shoes, to have spent that much money, I better crack on with it.

There are no lessons for the next couple of weeks, nooo! Let’s revise and improve before then!

Flamenco is… hard but I’m loving the challenge!

Freed Of London Oxford Leather

In Dance on March 18, 2016 at 9:40 pm

I was going to wait until April and order it in time for my birthday… nope!

A couple of weeks ago I went on Freed of London to find out how long the process would take, this particular pair were on sale because the line is discontinued! I was lucky to catch the offer and hurriedly enquired and ordered this. The assembly process took a week and the shoes were only £32. Bargain! Of course the Supersonic taps, cobblers and delivery were additionals on top. Overall it’s a pretty good price for something this gorgeous!

I asked for the taps as close to the edge as possible, they did an amazing job fitting it. If there was a minor thing, my OCD picked up the very slight misfit on the left back tap… as you can see on the pictures (right) – the inside right is fine but inside left is off. Galloping heel clicks will eventually happen like it did with my Capezio but I’ll have to break into them first.

It’s been put together very well and I can’t wait to try them in class. I did expect paddings that go on the midsoles because I saw it in the shoebox when I was in their London store, they’re to stop me from slipping. All the tap shoes have them, although… I wonder how it feels like without them? We shall see! I also look forward to hearing how they sound like!

Overall I’m very pleased and happy to have got them, it’s my own early Birthday present!

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